Author Archive

Sep
24
2014 Toyota Corolla S Premium

Consumer Guide’s test 2014 Corolla arrived in S Premium trim with the Driver Convenience Package. With destination, our test car listed for $23,570.

2014 Toyota Corolla S Premium

Dates tested: 9/02/2014-9/16/2014

Miles Driven: 218

Fuel Used: 8.5 gallons

Driving mix: 75% city, 25% highway

Sep
24
2004 Suzuki Verona

Identify this car for one bonus point. It’s an ’04, if that helps.

Today we whisk you back to 2004. Your challenge is to determine which of the following vehicles was NOT available the year we met Hurricane Ivan. 

Sep
23
Cadillac, The Standard of the World. 2016 LTS.

Cadillac’s 2016 flagship is challenged to take on the best sedans Europe has to offer. Tom thinks the new car deserves a better name.

If you don’t have a lucky number, you likely at least have a number or two you prefer to other digits. I, for example, rather like the numbers 2, 5, 14, and 21. I became aware of my fondness for these numbers one night while nursing a $2 gin and tonic at a now-defunct Iowa riverboat-casino roulette table.

 Automakers like numbers, too. Many storied model names have been enhanced by a carefully placed numeric suffix. Think of such classic monikers as Cougar XR-7, Fury II, and Galaxie 500, and you get the idea.

Sep
18
XXX

If this were a 6-car list, the Chrysler Imperial Coupe shown here would have made the list. The Imperial Sedan, however, just made the top 5.

I’ll just admit it. I chose 1974 because I wanted to get a car other than a Cadillac or Lincoln on the list. If you check out our The 5 Most Expensive Cars of 1972 post, you’ll a lineup of comprised entirely by cars of those makes.

Sep
12
1972 Pony Cars

Way back in 1972, Consumer Guide ranked the Barracuda, Camaro, Challenger, Cougar, Firebird, Javelin, and Mustang. Which car came out on top? Read on…

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Consumer Guide divided the ’72 new-car market into mini compact, compact, sporty compact, intermediate, standard, medium standard, personal luxury, and luxury categories.

The power went out in 1972. Manufacturers did their best to hide the muscle shortage behind the horsepower reporting conversion from SAE Gross to SAE Net, but we all knew the sad truth.

Responding to the pending arrival of low-lead gasoline, makers were forced to dial back the power, which was just as well, as auto insurers were getting nervous anyway.

How deep were the power cuts? Let’s look at the Chevrolet Corvette as an example. In 1971, the ‘Vette’s big block 454-cubic-inch V8 cranked out a reported 365 horsepower in its mildest state of tune. For 1972, the only 454 offered was good for just 270 ponies. Again, some of that decline was attributable to the new reporting standards, but sadly, most of it was just missing muscle.

Sep
08
Calvin & Hobbes

Given how hard he’s working to help motorists profess their hatred for certain brands, it’s hard to imagine Calvin isn’t suffering from a kidney disorder by now.

A bumper sticker isn’t a tattoo. I get that. Unlike tattoos, bumper stickers and sundry window appliqués aren’t generally very expensive, and can usually be removed without too much difficulty. But, just as people often draw conclusions about folks with tattoos based on their tattoos, other drivers will judge you based on the stuff you’ve plastered on your bumper.

Sep
05
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S (red)

Consumer Guide’s test Jaguar F-Type arrived in V8 S trim and loaded with options. With the destination charge our test car came to $103,820.

Consumer Guide Automotive Test Drive

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S 

Dates tested: 8/14/2014-8/21/2014

Miles Driven: 259

Fuel Used: 16.3 gallons

Sep
04
1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL.

The Mercedes-Benz 450SEL was the 1975 Consumer Guide luxury-category Best Buy.

According to Consumer Guide© Auto ’75, Best Buy selections are, “chosen on the basis of market research into what buyers in each category are seeking in their cars; and on a straight-forward, dollars-and-cents evaluation of what buyers are getting in quality, durability, economy, and function.”

Sep
02
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1989 Jeep Comanche

For those keeping score, 2014 represents a low point for compact pickups in the U.S. With the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon on hiatus, only Honda, Nissan, and Toyota currently offer vehicles in this class.

Aug
28
1996 Acura SLX

Anxious to exploit the exploding consumer interest in SUVs, Acura tapped Isuzu for a version of that maker’s Trooper. The SLX became Acura’s first truck.

Fact: Japanese automobile manufacturers were just as willing as American makers to build fuel-thirsty trucks, they just weren’t as good at selling them. Had early versions of the Nissan Pathfinder or Toyota 4Runner sold nearly as well as the Ford Explorer, history might recall said companies less as the “green” good guys they came to be considered.

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